In the Renaissance Period in France, Catherine de Medici ruled as Regent after the untimely death of her eldest son Francis II in 1560, ( the first husband of Mary Queen of Scots).
The State treasury was depleted by the wars led by the previous monarch, Francis I, Catherine’s husband. Financial matters had not been addressed during her ailing son’s short reign. The State was bankrupt and monies had to be found
Does any of this sound familiar……it should.
As other sources of revenue-raising were unavailable at that point, it was suggested that taxes be levied, the burden of which, would fall on the peasantry. There were at best, unimaginative suggestions from the Estates Deputies. It was left to the Crown therefore, to lead by pruning its expenditure. Catherine cut the number of servants and other elements of the administrative workforce, reduced salaries and pensions. By so doing, she recouped 2.3 million livres.
Remember, this is the 16th century. That’s an awful lot of money recouped, say, billions in today’s financial terms.
Rather than being congratulatory, the Deputies observed that if such an amount could be so easily saved, ‘Could not more telling cuts be made?”
:**: History repeats, repeats, repeats……………………. and continues to be repeated.
Source:Frieda.L. 2005 Catherine de Medici: p171.